Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan expanded on what manager Paul Molitor had to say about Danny Santana playing in left field today this morning.
“He can play just about everywhere on the diamond. You won’t see him behind the plate or at first base much, but all the other spots he can play,” said Ryan.
“He’s got one of the better arms we have on the team. He’s one of the fastest guys that we have on the team. And he’s one of the most athletic.”
He strongly indicated that Santana’s value to the team is as a super-utility player going forward.
“I’m sure that he can play center, and he did okay over there. Now it’s at a point where we’re at with this roster that he’s gonna have to play more left and right and short and third and second and wherever it is,” he said.
“I don’t think Paul has any hesitancy to put him out there, and left field seems to make sense. That’s okay. That’s kinda his spot on this roster, whenever we have to give a guy a blow, he’d be available to go out there.”
A little clarity on Robbie Grossman’s splits: He is hitting .207/.387/.378 against right-handed pitchers and .365/.421/.635 against lefties.
There is a sample size issue, however, as Grossman has 106 at-bats against righties and 57 against lefties. Molitor said that he would play, for sure, against lefty Cole Hamels tomorrow — indicating that he’s aware of the split.
“I don’t even know what they are, but I’m not … he takes a pretty good at-bat on both sides,” said Ryan. “In fact, if you ask me what side he’s better at, I don’t think I could tell you off the top of my head, because he seems to have a fair grasp [of both].”
Ryan said that his issue is that he’s looking at too many strike threes.
“I’ve said this before, but he’s not afraid to take a walk. He’s striking out looking more than I would anticipate. I know he’s got a good eye, but you’d like to see that taken care of there at some point. He strikes out too much looking,” he said.
“I don’t think anybody would get concerned about striking out when you take a whack at it. But when you let that third one go by, and you don’t take a swing at it, if it’s close, you would like to clear that up and clean that up some.”
“He’s been a good addition. I can’t complain about one thing about that guy”
This isn’t to say that he’s upset with how Grossman is playing; he knows he has been one of the better waiver wire pickups Ryan has made recently.
“He can hit the ball over the fence, and he can drive a ball from both sides. We’ll take a walk if that’s what they’re gonna end up giving you. We’ll also take the type of at-bat you don’t go down looking, is about the only thing that I can say is concerning,” he said.
“But he’s playing pretty good left field, he’s thrown enough, and he gives you a competitive at-bat.
“He’s been a good addition. I can’t complain about one thing about that guy, coming from a free agent, and all of a sudden there’s days he’s hitting three or four; two down to six.”
There’s some concern among the fanbase about Buxton, and reasonably so. One of the team’s most promising young players is hitting .194/.230/.331 through 44 games this year. He hit .209/.250/.326 in 46 games last year during his rookie season.
“It’s better, but it’s still a lot of work,” Ryan said of Buxton’s at-bats. “We talked about this yesterday, he’s giving you an at-bat per game that gives you a lot of hope, and then there are others that you said, ‘Okay, we got some work to do here.’
“If you look at quality of at-bats, which I do — and you guys do to, I suspect — no swinging at a ball that’s down and away, and not in the zone, and not giving yourself a chance and stuff like that.”
Molitor has shown his willingness to use Taylor Rogers, an 11th round pick out of Kentucky from the 2012 draft, in key situations, and the rookie has delivered.
He has a 1.167 WHIP in his last 6.0 innings pitched, but owns a 1.371 WHIP this season in 23.1 innings pitched.
“He’s doing some of the things we were hoping to see in Spring Training, and we didn’t,” he said.
“And now he’s bringing them to the table, and he’s rewarding the patience that the staff has showed. Obviously we had to send him back to Triple-A, now all of a sudden he looks like he’s very comfortable out there. It’s encouraging.”
Other odds and ends
- Byung-ho Park reported earlier to Triple-A than he had to. Players have 72 hours to get to Rochester, but he’s there today. “And I appreciate that,” said Ryan. “He got outta here and got in there, and got to work, and he wants to get back.
- Park will primarily play first base, but could DH, depending on where Triple-A manager Mike Quade puts Kennys Vargas. “They’ve got a pretty good tandem there — they could DH or play first,” said Ryan. “But it will be somewhat similar to what had gone on here, he won’t play as much DH as he did up here.”
- Darin Mastroianni is currently playing during his rehab stint.
- Trevor May pitched last night and will pitch again today. It will be his first back-to-back during his rehab stint. “We’ll see how he looks; see how he feels,” said Ryan. “He’s getting relatively close.”